Posted by David McFadden on Oct 30, 2019

Tom Burt works on a new frontier.  He is Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Customer Security and Trust.  He has been there in various leadership capacities for 24 years and now leads an interdisciplinary team across the company to advance cybersecurity.  Burt spoke at our pre-Halloween meeting.  He highlighted how technology empowers our lives but also has a dark side.  It brings risks on many levels.  From phishing threats to identity theft to disturbing democracies, our digital universe touches every fabric of our lives.

Tom gave a nod to Microsoft leader Brad Smith for advancing a digital Geneva Convention.  Nation-state threats drive a need to ensure governments behave well.   Securing digital peace should be the new goal and Burt outlined several principles that governments and technology companies have signed onto termed the Paris Call Principles:
·        increase prevention against and resilience to malicious online activity;
·        protect the accessibility and integrity of the internet;
·        cooperate in order to prevent interference in electoral processes;
·        work together to combat intellectual property violations via the Internet;
120 companies have signed onto these principles – the United States hasn’t signed on yet because our current leadership doesn’t favor multilateral processes. 
Despite our country’s slow adoption of these principles, companies and governments around the world are working to advance cybersecurity.  Tom Burt outlined some of Microsoft’s efforts to safeguard elections, provide disinformation defense, and protect political campaigns.  As fast as these advances are made new threats also proliferate.  Tom introduced us to “deepfakes” which is the new term for artificial intelligence that is used to distort videos.  When it appears a journalist hit someone, or one of our elected officials looks senile, just be aware that these fake videos are part of our new digital frontier. 
Burt concluded his presentation by calling for a higher level of digital diplomacy.  It is going to take public-private partnerships between technology companies and governments around the world to create cyber peace instead of cyber chaos. 
President Kim Moore opened the meeting.  Jimmy Collins and Burr Stewart led our club through a great rendition of America the Beautiful for our weekly song.  Cathy Gibson provided our inspirational moment by highlighting her trip to represent Seattle 4 Rotary at the 100 year anniversary for a club we sponsored in Shanghai.  She expressed gratitude for the welcome she received from the club and highlighted how many great things they have done to support their community and advance Service Above Self
For pictures from this week's lunch, check out our Facebook page. 

Thank you Totem Reporter David McFadden.

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